Slow down you crazy child
You’re so ambitious for a juvenile
But then if you’re so smart tell me,
Why are you still so afraid?
– Billy Joel (The lyrics of the song Vienna from the album The Stranger, 1977)
After some sad weeks with the loss of good people, the tragedy that unfolds in Ukraine and a spring that seems to never come – (It is raining wet, heavy snow in Trondheim)- it is time to write about something more pleasurable.
Life. Or how to live life.
I got the idea somewhere else entirely. That is, from two places. One was a blog / instareel that I follow with great interest. It is written by a Norwegian psychologist (psykologmedsovepose.no) and the girl behind the popular blog / instareel is a cheerful woman who is out and about in nature with her family, alone or with the world’s coolest dog, a Shiba. She camps more in one year than I did in the military and obviously (contrary to me) enjoys it. In addition, she writes wisely about human relationships and I find resonance in most of her writings.
Where’s the fire, what’s the hurry about?
You better cool it off before you burn it out
You got so much to do and only
So many hours in a day
Where did all the love go
The newest thing she wrote, which was visualized with pictures from a trip, was about love. Or more specifically about the “Fall in Love” kind of thing. The great, all-encompassing infatuation that drives people both to madness and to do things they were later ashamed of. (And, of course, she says you should never be ashamed of anything when it comes to falling in love.)
She pointed out that in today’s social society we had really forgotten what it was like to be really in love. A love affair of the type “run around half the city” to meet “by chance” the one you are in love with. Poetry writing and flower tassels that are outside the door and large, grandiose declarations of love both public and semi-public. To the great joy / fright / wonder / shame / relief of the one who is exposed to it. In our Ghosting/Tinder/Fb/insta/whatever time, such things are algorithmically destroyed and the genuine feeling is handed over to … precisely the algorithms.
But you know that when the truth is told
That you can get what you want
Or you can just get old
You’re gonna kick off before you even get halfway through
When will you realize… Vienna waits for you?
Living a decent life, without hassel
She wrote a lot and well about this. I know little about love and even less about falling in love. As an injured, old, PTSD soldier, it’s an unknown landscape to me. Love, yes, I know a about that, having people around me that loves me, (lucky me) but infatuation, unfortunately. It is difficult to differentiate that feeling from a solid GAD (general anxiety disorder) that operates inside the chest on a regularly basis. And the general anxiety diagnosis is certainly not something one wants, nor long for the feeling of in the chest. The butterflies rasp well on the inside, but they do not flutter easily with their wings …as they are supposed to do whenever you are in love.
So I do not really know what falling in love is basically. For obvious reasons.
But what I know a small amount about and that brought this blog from my head, via the keyboard and to whoever reads it this week, is how one can live a life without “living a life”, or rather the opposite: how one can have a nice life. The input on this topic came from a completely different place than from a psychologist with a sleeping bag.
It came from a text I stumbled upon that was written by Billy Joel. (Hence the excerpts in this blog)
And this is my message today.
Slow down you’re doing fine
You can’t be everything you want to be before your time
Although it’s so romantic on the borderline tonightToo bad, but it’s the life you lead
You’re so ahead of yourself that you forgot what you need
Though you can see when you’re wrong
You know you can’t always see when you’re right
Hurry up, your late for whatever you are up to
We often start our lives by being told that we are so busy. Are we really that busy? This striving to do “sensible” things in childhood, adolescence, and early adulthood. For what? And not least, for whom?
I can understand the thought from our mentors, parents, grandparents and other “sensible, well-meaning” adults who tell us that gathering values is important. The more things one has, the better. Based on the fact that one should get a secure life, with the opportunity for a job one likes and that it is therefore important to get a certain education, even the most anti-educated among us understand. Being present and having an opportunity in the job market is just as important. But notice that I wrote “a job one likes” Disturbingly many of us do not have it. I think I read somewhere that more than 70% of Americans more or less hate their jobs. There is no reason to believe that the numbers are different anywhere else in the world.
Slow down you’re doing fine
You can’t be everything you want to be
Before your time
– Billy Joel
What do you desire?
You have probably heard this: Having a job you hate to make money so you can buy things you do not need … Something like that.
Alan Watts said:
“What do you desire? What makes you itch? What sort of a situation would you like?”
And the answer came from the same man: What do you really like? Many of us aspire to be many great things, but when our high school youth wanes away we begin to enter “the real world.”
We learn that real life isn’t fun and games, but something that requires us to be something, a label that tells us what we are and what our use is. Alan, on the other hand, sees the fallacy in this. For “the real world” is nothing more than a crude, smaller image of life, as it relies on human conceptions alone and not the grander universe. This human conception has lead many to believe that we can’t spend our lives simply doing what we like, but doing something that others deem valuable. So when Alan asks us about desires, he asks how does the unbiased,, REAL you wants, not the one that lives to achieve some sort of fulfillment through money. After all, how much does money and a social status matter if your not living the life you want?
You’ll be doing things you don’t like doing in order to go on living, that is to go on doing things you don’t like doing, which is stupid. Let me leave you here, (I will write more on this topic later), but for now, according to Billy:
Slow down you crazy child
Take the phone off the hook and disappear for a while
It’s alright, you can afford to lose a day or two (oooh)
When will you realize… Vienna waits for you…